IRS deal eases load
- By Judi Hasson
- Mar 19, 2000
Electronic software delivery is a hit at the Internal Revenue Service.
The IRS this month renewed a contract with IntelliSys Technology Corp. to
have Microsoft Corp. software electronically distributed to 130,000 desktops.
This year the IRS plans to upgrade its PCs to Microsoft's Windows 2000.
The contract, in its second year, could be worth $120 million over five
and a half years.
And based on the IRS success, three other Treasury Department bureaus
have signed deals with ITC, receiving the same delivery options and volume
pricing. That means a bureau with 1,300 desktops is getting the same discount
price as the IRS with its high-volume requirements.
ITC has teamed on those contracts with Beyond.com, whose Electronic
Download Manager technology makes it possible to distribute, manage and
support software products across an intranet. The agreement covers licenses
for Microsoft's Windows 1998 and 2000, Office Professional, Client Access
Licenses and BackOffice software such as SQL Server, Exchange, Proxy Server
"We're using [Beyond.com] in a pretty effective way," said Dan McLaughlin,
branch chief of department systems at the IRS. "It is cost-efficient. Our
resources aren't devoted to making copies of CDs and distributing them.
Instead, we are getting the product to the desktop as fast as possible."
Some agencies download the software directly from Beyond.com (www.beyond.com),
but for security reasons, the IRS takes the technology in-house, behind
the firewall, and distributes it internally, said Steve Cooker, Beyond.com's
vice president of government sales.
Either way, electronic delivery is much less expensive for agencies
than having systems administrators load software on desktops individually.
The savings dramatically add up in agencies such as the IRS, which has many
Beyond.com's Electronic Download Manager technology already is in use
at federal agencies including the Comptroller of the Currency, the Bureau
of Engraving and Printing, the Patent and Trademark Office, the Defense
Logistics Agency and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency. And electronic
delivery may be the wave of the future as the government moves into the
"This one of the hottest things in the commercial world. We fully expect
it to catch on in government federal, state and local," said Olga Grkavac,
executive vice president with the Information Technology Association of
America's Enterprise Solutions Division. ITAA, which represents IT products
and services companies, has a new membership program to promote the idea,
But Alan Bechara, vice president of the public sector for Comark Federal
Systems, a government reseller, said that while the theory behind the software
product is good, there will be "tremendous growing pains" in the private
and public sectors before new technology is fully integrated into the government.
"We still live in the world where we all print our e-mail to have a
hard copy," Bechara said. "Will getting software from the Net prevent someone
from wanting to get their software from a CD?"